Friday, October 31, 2008

Ovi - door to success?

I bet you've heard about Nokia's Ovi, but do you really know what is it about? If you know what it is about, do you know how Nokia will make money out of it?

The reason for these two questions is that one of my friends asked me recently: "That Nokia's Ovi, what is it? I would like to use it, but I don't know how and I don't know what I could do there." I explained to him shortly that Ovi is a place for accessing Nokia's different services. You can find maps, music, games, share pictures there and upload calendar, contacts and files. To be honest, this was a kind of lousy explanation. After this I started thinking a little more about Ovi.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Nokia's general idea is to offer a service where you find everything you need and you can access it with any device (pc, mac or phone). Maybe it could be described in a few words as "personalised multi-channel portal"? Personally I think that if something cannot be explained in a few sentences, it won't be a success among users.

This "personalised multi-channel portal" looks quite nice and if you synchronise your phone with Ovi, it can be an useful service.

I tried it once, just to check it out how it works with generic data and stopped using it. Reason for this is that I've have company confidential information in my phone and I really don't want to share it. I know Ovi should be safe, but still I don't want to take that risk. I believe this is a quite big question / threat for IT departments because syncrhonising is really easy.

I'm not saying that Ovi concept wouldn't become a success, but I must say there are still lots of work to be done. I've listed some of things that need to be improved before success.

  1. Too many user IDs and passwords. At the moment there isn't any general user ID and password for Ovi services, because it builds up from different services. Users won't use a service which need own credentials for Ovi (synchronisation), music, sharing pictures and games.

  2. Integration. Basically same as above, all services must be seamlessly integrated before it is usable. If I use a portal, I want to be able to use all services easily and smoothly.

  3. Common user-interface. I believe that a portal should have common user-interface because otherwise the usage of different services will be much more difficult.

  4. Logic. A service must be logical to use. I was really surprised when I went to, clicked Sign In and saw a page saying "contacts & calendar". My first thoughts were: "What did I do? I don't want to sign in to contacts & calendar, I want to sign in to Ovi".
  5. Useful services. Ask yourself why would someone create credentials and start using this service daily and suggest it to his/her friends? When Ovi is "fully personalised multi-channel portal", I believe this is possible.

Don't get me wrong, there are also good features already existing, for example easy syncrhonisation and your content from your Share on Ovi comes automatically to your Ovi portal. Atleast I don't remember giving any Share on Ovi credentials to Ovi, probably sharing is done by checking e-mail addresses.

A more difficult question is: "How Nokia will make money out of this?" If I would need to guess, I would mention three different approaches:

  1. Offer first free services, then start charging. This seems to be the case in the Maps for example. Most of the new handsets have a free license for a year, after this the user needs to purchase a license.

  2. Offer first free services, then start charging small amounts. Almost like previous, but with smaller amounts of money, e.g. a few euros (even cents?) per month.

  3. Bundle the price to handset. Nokia is trying this with Comes with Music and everyone is waiting for the results.

I suggest that you check Ovi out yourself and make your own decisions. So, go to Ovi with your desktop or mobile browser and explore it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tackling the mobile platform diverseness

With the emergence of new mobile platforms like iPhone and Android the diverseness of mobile platforms is greatly increasing. This brings some trouble for developers who try to target as many platforms and as wide audience as possible. Let's take a look at the platforms currently at hand.

First of all there is Series 40 which is Nokia proprietary platform that accepts only applications developed with Java ME, formerly known as J2ME. Also Flash Lite has been supported since S40 3rd Edition Feature Pack 1 for stand-alone applications and content. There are tens of millions S40 devices out there which makes this platform one of the most widely used.

When we are talking about Symbian, we are actually talking about three different platforms: S60 and UIQ. "But that is only two?", you say. Yes, but there is a compatibility break between S60 2nd and 3rd edition which means I'm counting them as two separate platforms. All of this is to change, though, when the S60 and UIQ platforms will be merged into the open source Symbian Foundation code. The S60 platform sucks and even Nokia developers admit it. Coding for Symbian is simply harder than it really should be. However, S60 is not going to die, at least not very soon. This is because Nokia is making money with the platform right now and is porting Qt application framework to the platform too which is going to expand its lifetime.

The iPhone OS or OS X iPhone is the operating system used in iPhone and iPod Touch. Mac OS X applications cannot be run on an iPhone device. Applications need to be specifically written and compiled for the iPhone OS and ARM processor architecture. Authorized native third party applications are available for the phone through Apple's App Store. The software developement kit allows developers to make applications and test them in a simulator but loading an application onto the devices is only possible after paying a iPhone Developer Program fee. Java or Flash are not supported but Sun Microsystems and Adobe have their plans to release a third party Java virtual machine and Flash Lite player respectively.

Google's Android platform is written in Java running on top of a Linux kernel written in C. However, it is not Linux. There are also some apparently performance critical libraries written in C/C++ but the application framework is fully written in Java. Flash is not supported but there shouldn't be any technical obstacles for it. Some people have said that Android is actually what Java ME should have been or should have become. Obviously software written for Android can't be run on other Java enabled devices. On the other hand it should be possible to run software developed with Java ME in an Android device.

MicroSoft's offering to the mobile market is of course Windows Mobile. Managed applications can be developed with .NET Compact Framework using the C# language. Native applications can be developed with C++. Both Java ME and Flash Lite are also supported.

The problem with Linux is the number of distributions involved. There is Maemo that is used in Nokia Internet tablets, LiMo foundation founded by companies like Motorola, NTT DoCoMo, Panasonic and Samsung, Mobilinux by Montavista, Moblin sponsored by Intel, Ubuntu Mobile and OpenMoko. You could actually say there is probably as many mobile linux distributions as there are other mobile platforms together. There are no common SDKs nor tools for developers, no common distribution channels, and no common application directories for devices. Linux people are going to kill me when I say this but unless some company is strong enough to create an uniform platform, there might be not so bright future for mobile Linux, which is a great shame.

BlackBerry smartphones are built on a Java-based operating environment, which supports the development of custom Java ME applications. There is a BlackBerry plug-in for MicroSoft Visual Studio that lets developers working within a .NET programming environment use their development tool of choice.

With the platforms mentioned I have addressed the majority of mobile devices out there. As you can see its almost impossible to target all the platforms at once. In practice there aren't any natively running cross-platform applications. How should this be handled then?

The easiest way to target every device is web-based applications. That way you reach every device out there equipped with a internet browser. Web applications are limited though and not applicable to every problem or service.

The second easiest coverage comes probably with Java ME. It is supported pretty much on every phone except the iPhone. Using Java you get access to a lot more interfaces of the phone but are still more limited than using native code and native APIs. It also differs too much from usual Java so code reuse is not possible. Sometimes the Java slogan, "Write once, run everywhere", has been changed to "Write once, debug everywhere". This refers to the issue that even if you can run the same code platform independently, it still might behave differently on different environments.

Qt has some potential becoming a solution to some of the problems. It is already available in embedded Linux and Windows Mobile and will soon be in Symbian and Maemo. There are also Java bindings via Qt Jambi which, at least in theory, enables Qt in Android too. Qt/Mac won't enable Qt in iPhone but it adds another theoretical possibility. Qt Extended, formerly known as Qtopia, extends Qt application platform with additional functionality to embedded Linux. It might not be a silver bullet but it actually might make several developers' life a lot easier.

Another problem with cross-platform development is that the screen resolutions, color depths, input devices and multimedia capabilities, just to name a few, are very different. A device could or could not have a keyboard or a touch screen and even the touch screen can be single touch or multi touch. Whether you are developing a web based service or a full blown native application these issues have to be taken into consideration. Moreover, using generic toolkits always is a trade-off between portability and utilizing the platform specific device capabilities. In most of the cases true cross-platform development is not feasible or sensible or even possible. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that cross-platform toolkits wouldn't have their place in the market.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Having fun with 2D barcodes before NFC arrives

I had some sparetime and thought to check out what one could do with 2D barcodes. The main idea is that when you see a 2D barcode you point your smartphone's camera to it and hold it there for a while. After this, something happens. This something depends on the content of the 2D barcode. It can be either a link, a phone number, an e-mail address or a business card. If you try the code below, you'll notice that it contains my work information (first name, last name, phone number, e-mail address).

In addition to camera phone, you also need barcode reader software. Some Nokia phones have the reader pre-installed but there are also numerous 3rd party softwares. For more information about 2D barcodes, you can check Nokia's site. You'll find also a tool for creating your own 2D barcodes.

I didn't do anything special with these codes, I just added barcode to back of my business card using a sticker paper which I found from my workplace.

Although 2D barcodes aren't too easy to use, they have some clear benefits: they are free to create and you can put them basically anywhere. I've seen them recently even in newspapers in some municipal elections ad.

With these two benefits, you would have the possibility to tackle the traditional chicken and egg problem. You can just add 2D barcodes anywhere and this way get more users, probably relatively slow, but still. With numerous 2D barcodes on the wild, I believe there would be more and more 2D barcode readers pre-installed in phones.

When users have learnt to "point-and-click" using 2D barcodes, transformation to NFC will be much easier. NFC is much more user-friendly than 2D barcode because you don't need to have an additional reader software installed and turned on. NFC is also much faster, "swiping" is usually enough for activating the session.

NFC has all the same use cases than 2D barcode plus a few more. You can pair devices, initiate proximity payments and exchange information between devices with it. Unfortunately NFC is not yet available widely but there are some different kinds of pilots around the world. Nokia is bringing their first NFC-capable phone, Nokia 6212 Classic, to the markets soon. (Yes, there is also Nokia 6131 NFC, but it hasn't hit the mass markets.)

So before NFC comes, you can play with 2D barcodes in the meantime. How would you utilise these 2D barcodes? What is the most weirdest place you've seen these?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

No more backups when updating - FOTA saves you

You've been able to update your S60 phone by yourself for a while, but the problem has been that you've first needed to backup your phone, then use Software Update and then restore your phone. This procedure has taken quite long, usually tens of minutes, if not hours.

Luckily there is a salvation near your. Just check if your phone has FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) feature. Some SonyEricssons have been having this possibility for some time, and now it has also come to Nokia phones. In Nokia phones, you can check this by entering *#0000# and choosing Options - Check for updates.

After choosing desired internet connection, (use WiFi if you need to be careful with your phone bill) download starts.

Phone suggests that you back it up before updating. I had to do this, mostly because I participated to a christening today (congrats to Juha, Njeri and Andre!) and there were some photos I didn't want to lose. After you have finished backing your phone up, you'll find update option from Device Manager.

Update process itself took something like 5-7 minutes. During this time the phone was unusable and there was a status bar showing the update status.

After the update the phone started normally and you had to enter your PIN code and lock code if you are using one.

I must say I was really positively suprised about the whole process. Everything went really smoothly and the phone had all the content that it had before the update. This way is much, much more convenient than using Software Update. I recommend you to try this out!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

MobileMonday - Crowdsourcing and ambient awareness

MobileMonday had an interesting topic: Social and Mobile. Here are some points / thoughts from Monday's event.

A company can use its customers for innovating but it doesn't need to stop there. It can use its customers in any process when creating a service / product. Two companies that were mentioned few times were Lego and Cisco. These companies have used social innovation successfully.

Most of the companies are not using social innovations because of their cultural background, not because they would be missing the tools. Companies, in spite of being big or small, should try things out more openly.

Crowdsourcing is coming / already here. The main idea is that individuals all over the world are connected and are doing small things to help someone. Few examples could be social journalism or publishing photos that others can use. The interesting part was that money is not the only motivation, but there are lots of other reasons, e.g. you get to be innovative and because it is fun.

It was also mentioned that mobile will be a really important channel in crowdsourcing, but not the only one. Mobile can be used for example initiating something and then finalizing the task in other channel / media.

Yahoo is providing a number of applications / services that help to produce ambient awareness. One example of this kind of service is OneConnect. The main idea is to aggregate needed information (e.g. phonebook and different social networks) and provide it to the user. This way user can publish content once, use multiple times. This would mean that phonebook would turn out to be proactive. You wouldn't need to call someone to ask where he was or what he was doing.

Marc Davis from Yahoo was also telling about Blueprint that should give a service provider opportunity to support multiple devices/platforms when they are developing services. He didn't go into details but mentioned that same content could be used in J2ME, S60, and different browsers.

Yahoo thinks that they can make money when users have more shared and more accurate data. This data is then being utilized for advertising. With a lots of data, advertising can be much more accurate and people are willing to pay for it.

When I was walking home from MobileMonday these things were in my mind:

  1. Social innovations would be worth trying out because that way you can get more brains working on the same issue. When the crowd grows, usually also the diversity grows and this brings good ideas and results.

  2. OneConnect seems interesting because I know that I'm not the only one who has real difficulties using multiple social networks. It would be really nice to connect my phonebook with all the relevant social information from the Web.

  3. Blueprint also sounds interesting, but will this really work? This is not the first time when I hear someone telling about "multi-channel". Usually it ends up being just a "channel".

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Nokia Comes With Music

A couple of days ago Nokia made a press release about launching the Comes With Music digital entertainment service that was announced a year ago. The bottom line of the deal is that Nokia will bring out mobile devices that can be used to listen to full music catalogs of some record companies like Universal Music Group and Sony BMG. You are entitled to download as many songs as you wish for free and after the one year contract you are still eligible to keep your downloaded material.

The concept sounds very interesting. The CD sales are continuously diminishing and at the same time sales of digital music have been doubling every year. The unpleasant truth is however that a lot of young people are used to download their music for free from P2P networks anyway. The new model offers music seemingly for free but is paid in the price of the device. It appears that Nokia and the record companies have realized that this could be the only way to attract people to actually have legally acquired music.

Like everything "free", this comes with a catch too. The service will be handicapped by DRM. You will be able to listen to your music with your Nokia device and your computer only. The content won't work in an iPod or any other device. Then again, if you actually bought a Nokia music device, why would you want to use an iPod? Also burning a CD or any tracks will require an upgrade purchase for each track. These limitations are something you probably can live with but maybe the biggest surprise comes when you want to renew your subscription. In order to regain access to music for another year you need to buy a new Nokia device.

Nokia is entering a new market a bit like Apple did a few years ago with the iPod and iTunes. Just like Apple, Nokia is having sceptical observers and a lot of critisism. However, everyone knows the success story behind iPod. It remains to be seen how well Nokia manages to market this new model.

The first setback at the launch of the service in the UK is that four big mobile operators, namely Vodafone, O2 , Orange and T-Mobile, are not planning to sell it. Nokia is likely to have to rely on the mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse and its own shops and website. Its still unclear how this will affect the sales as a lot of phones are being sold with operator deals in the UK. The first two phones featuring the service will be XpressMusic 5310 and N95. The first Nokia touch screen smarpthone, XpressMusic 5800, is not on the launch list since it will not go on sale until next year.

It could be useful to combine a Comes With Music enabled smartphone with Nokia Home Media. Essentially you could carry your music collection anywhere with your mobile phone and in addition be able to listen to it with your home stereo. You could just make your smartphone a media server and stream the content to your UPnP/DLNA enabled media center device like Playstation 3 or Xbox 360. Its a bit unclear if it would be possible to stream DRM protected content but I could imagine this as an attractive option if it would work.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Home Media - empty promises or useful software?

"Home Media connects you wirelessly to your home network's media files. All you need is a compatible Nokia Nseries multimedia computer, a wireless network solution and a compatible PC or a supported UPnP/DLNA media renderer or server, such as a television, home stereo system or a gaming console." (

I've read about Home Media sometime ago and to be honest my two first thoughts were a) it probably won't work, at least not easily b) luckily I don't have compatible phone.

Time went by and I got more and more curious, especially after getting a Nokia N96. So what did I do? I tried it out, of course.

Part I / Installation:
  1. Downloaded and installed SimpleCenter to MS Vista.

  2. Clicked OK couple of times until SC wanted me to register. I really wonder why this software required registering? Well, I registered which was simple task as long as you find proper username that is not taken.

  3. After installation HMS wanted to add the media from my computer. I just clicked OK-OK-...OK. Then I realized that HMS is about to add all our pictures, roughly 3000. Then everything stopped. No response, nothing at all. I had to kill the adding process and still my 2 cores are going at 100%. What about restarting the computer?

  4. After restarting the computer and double-clicking Home Media Server, it opened normally and finished adding files.

  5. I believe now it is time to connect N96 to Home Media Server. Let's try it.

  6. Found Home Media from Menu - Tools - Connectivity - Home Media and opened it.

  7. Wizard started and after 9 OKs and some other clicks (device name, accesspoint, shared content, etc.) it finished.

  8. Does everything work now? No, it seems that I need to add device to Home Media Server by choosing Devices - Add device - Refresh and choose your phone. (N96's icon was N80 but maybe I can live with it. :)
Now I can see N96's content from Home Media Server but I cannot see Vista's files from N96. Maybe Vista's firewall is blocking the requests... No it didn't, it was just taking a while. Now I can see Home Media Server's content from N96.

Part II / Using HMS:

So, what you can do with this HMS? Let's check it out.

OK, most probably everyone knows that you can transfer pictures, videos, podcasts etc. easily from your phone to your computer or vice versa. Actually this is really easy, basically just click and the magic happens. One of the problems is that when I've been using PC Suite for transferring music, PC Suite had made another copy of each song and now HMS shows all these files. Probably this could be handled in Settings or then stop converting mp3's to AAC+, there are enough space in N96.

There are some other "flaws" like that you can see your music what you are about to transfer only by song title but luckily you can see more information using your phone. With a quick look, it seems that it is easier to transfer data from a computer to your phone by using your phone, but I'll find out about this after I've been using HMS for a while.

So you can easily transfer content between your two devices and you can also use your phone as a remote control for playing music, videos, etc. on your computer.

You can also define that pictures are automatically transferred from your phone to your computer when you come home. Now you won't lose your pictures so easily.

This means bye bye PC Suite and bye bye slow bluetooth connections when transferring files/music. Well, probably these aren't final good byes because standard HMS cannot convert files, e.g. movies to phone compatible form. There are also a premium version which has more features.

HMS really stands up to the exceptations and is worth trying out. It doesn't solve every problem but makes life again little easier, especially when transferring large files or multiple files where bluetooth/cable is slow. It won't replace PC Suite for good, because with PC Suite you can handle your PIM data.

Most probably you'll see another post about HMS after I've been using it for a while.

Quick thoughts about mobile marketing

You might have seen this talked quite widely:

“Timberland pays $7m to settle SMS spam lawsuit
Outdoor gear firm Timberland has agreed to pay $7m to settle a text message spam class-action lawsuit in the US.”
(via The Register)

Of course it is really important not to use SMSs for spamming because people are usually quite cautious when it comes to SMS marketing. You don’t want to spoil good opportunities by spamming.

The reason why this article came to my mind is that I received marketing SMS from a Finnish IT training house. I believe I have given my number to them because I’ve taken a course or two in their premises. The thing that “hurt” me was that they were advertising mobile stuff and there was also a link. The link took to normal web page which size was over 1.2 MB.

What’s the point? If you are advertising mobile stuff using SMSs, you should also make sure you are directing the reader to mobile compatible page. Remember also not to copy existing techniques. What works in Internet, it might not work in mobile environment.

Rapid GUI prototyping with Python and Qt

I have recently worked with Qt which is a cross-platform application framework. Applications and user interfaces created with Qt can be deployed on many desktop and embedded environments without the need to rewrite the source code.

Qt is most notably used in KDE (K Desktop Environment) which has been built on top of it. Qt is also used in such applications as Skype, Google Earth and Photoshop Elements. What makes Qt even more interesting for the embedded devices is that Nokia acquired Trolltech, the company behind Qt, at the beginning of 2008. But that is a whole another story.

I have also had a look at Python. Python is a high-level, interpreted, object-oriented programming language. Actually it supports imperative and functional paradigms as well but I wanted to mention object-oriented specifically. I was amazed at how easy it was to learn Python when you already know languages like C++ or Java.

Python is suitable for rapid application development because it has rapid spelled all over it:
  • very readable and simple core syntax
  • large and comprehensive standard library
  • fully dynamic type system
  • automatic memory management with garbage collection

"Great," you think, "that's all nice and dandy but what is it all good for?"

Here is where Python bindings for Qt come in. PyQt exposes much of the functionality of Qt to Python. It is also possible to generate Python code from GUI designs created with Qt Designer. This makes PyQt very useful as a rapid prototyping tool for applications that will eventually be implemented in C++ because the user interface designs can be re-used without modification. With Python you can setup your application within a minute. You also avoid the need to re-compile after each change you have made since Python is interpreted.

The best part about using PyQt and Qt Designer together is that you don't necessarily have to be a programmer to test these things out. You can create your GUI design in Qt Designer, convert your work into a Python script and just run it. It happens too often that the "prototype" ends up being the basis for the actual application. Breaking the GUI design further away from the actual implementation makes it easier to discard those prototypes.

The whats and whatnots of iPhone 3G

Ok, so let’s get to business after introductions.

I chose to list Apple iPhone 3G’s pros and cons. Of course the major hype is now gone, but this might still be quite interesting. I made this list first in Finnish and “published” it in my Facebook page on July 2008 because few of my friends were interested in hearing my thoughts about iPhone. So here it is, with some modifications and with more detailed explanations. Enjoy!

In one sentence “I wouldn’t call this a smartphone, but rather a constrained entertainment device.

+ Touch screen with multi-touch.
+ Small eye-candy effects, e.g. in Maps's settings you can see through the map.
+ Display size
+ General appearance
+ Keylock mechanism. Just press a button and keys are locked and screen is turned off.
+ Usage of WLAN/WiFi made really simple. Once you've added WiFi details, iPhone will automatically choose the right connection, e.g. just added WiFi.
+ USB charging
+ Battery is quite ok. I wouldn't complain any almost smartphone's /
smartphone's battery life because you are doing dozens of things at the same time (browsing, listening to music, navigating, writing SMS,... You got my point, right?)
+ Speakers. Ok quality to use as a boom box. Well not maybe boom box, but you are able to listen music in park with your friends.
- Display doesn’t rotate (go to landspace mode) in every application.
- Silence mode button. It goes on/off even if keylock is on.
- Only 2 profiles (normal and silence).
- There isn’t volume control in hands-free or way to answer an incoming call.
- iTunes dependencies. This makes it difficult to use in corporates because I could guess that iTunes is something you don’t want to / can't install.
- Difficult to change used internet connection, e.g. when you are browsing and want to change to some other connection.
- There are capital letters in virtual keypad although outcome is small letters.
- You have to active Caps lock from the settings to get it working normally.
- Special characters, even dot (.) and comma (,) are behind some keys.
- Predictive text doesn’t work properly. I used to accept suggested words although I wasn’t planning this. Prediction of compound words doesn’t work. Finnish language is full of compound words.
- You cannot use iPhone as a modem.
- Multitasking is slow or even impossible if you are using 3rd party applications. You cannot use multitask with 3rd party softwares because they are closed when you change from application to another.
- Crashing, even quite seriously and you couldn’t take battery off (unlike in most of the phones) but you just had to wait and hope. You can also try to press the menu button (basically the only button) long to restart iPhone.
- Expandability, you have to rely on current features.
- Doesn’t show any calendar etc information in Idle screen.

+ Discussion form.
- You cannot rotate the display. Writing of SMSs would be much easier with rotated screen. You can try this when you are browsing in landscape mode and write some address.
- You cannot send group messages.
- No MMSs.
- You don’t receive calendar invitations that are sent from S60 phone.
- You cannot forward a SMS.

- You cannot send calendar invitations.
- You cannot receive calendar invitations.
- You cannot enter a meeting that lasts less than a minute, e.g. from 9.00-9.00. I used to use this in S60 phone when I wanted to make a simple reminder that is not synchronized.

+ Picture scrolling, zooming and showing. Slide your finder from left to right and the pictures will roll nicely.
- You cannot mark multiple pictures and remove them at once. You have to remove them one by one.

+/- Camera and flash could be a little better.

+ Easy to use
+ Identifies used network speed and chooses the video quality according to this. In a way this is con because you cannot control this by yourself.
+ Youtube can be started from browser. If you happen to run into cool YouTube video, you don't need to find it from YouTube software.
+ Search. Works well and makes finding of videos easy.
- Some of the Youtube videos don’t work.
- Separate software.
- Supports only YouTube videos.

+ Simple
- Doesn’t have Scandinavian stocks, e.g. OMX (Helsinki)

+ Fast. Downloads map information really fast.
+ WLAN/WiFi locating.
+ Search works relatively well.
+ Touch screen and zoom works well.
- Showing multiple search results and moving to another result is inadequate.
- GPS updates sometimes little slowly. Although I don’t have some much experience on this.
- Can you get a car kit from Apple? I mean where do I install this in my car.
- Display turns off relatively fast. This makes it difficult to use as a navigator.
- Doesn’t show the direction where you are going.
- Doesn’t recalculate routes.
- You cannot save any routes.
- You cannot download maps. This makes roaming really expensive.

+ Simple and stylish
+ There are also Finnish cities
- Icon in main menu could updateable, just like in Calendars icon where dates changes.

+ Stopwatch.
+ Timer.
+ Number of alarms. You can add multiple alarms.
+ World clock.

+ Simple.
+ Has also functional calculator.
- You have to use functional calculator in horizontal mode.

+ Stylish fonts.
+ Outlook in general.
- You cannot synchronize this with Outlook using a cable. I've noticed that this is really good way to remember things.

+ You can define multiple languages that you will be using. You can easily change the desired language when typing.
- You cannot choose your own ring tone except using iTunes.

+ Easy to use.
+ Billing made easy.
- Works only in 3G/WiFi.

App Store:
+ Easy to use
- Not too many useful software. (This was the case in the beginning, now there might be too many software?)
- Difficult to find useful software.
- Restricted 3rd party features.
+/- Are there possibility for trials?

+ Scrolling names made easy and fancy. When you slide your finger down, the list rolls nicely. Nice to show to your friends. Guaranteed WOW effect.
+ You see first name first although names are organized according to last name.
- You cannot create groups.
- You cannot send contact information in SMS.
- Takes sometimes long (3-4 seconds) to open.

+ Favorites. You can add number of favorites and you can see them easily. Better than usual speed dial.
- You cannot organize received and made calls but all calls are in the same list.
- You cannot remove single call information

+ Easy to start using.
+ Shows also HTML mails.
- Didn’t support SSL in Welho’s service.

+ Seems fast.
+ Really accurate touch screen. You can hit even small links without zooming.
+ Zoom. Again nice feature and cool to show to your friends when you are sliding two fingers away from each other, browser zooms in.
+ Navigation is simple
+ Able to play mp3s, e.g. Radiorock’s podcasts rule.
+ Quicktime plays videos, e.g. trailers.
+ Establishing connection. Knows how to choose pre-defined WiFi or then use 3G/GPRS.
+ Big enough display to make mobile browsing a joy.
+ Opening new windows and handling them.
- No Flash support.
- Crashes quite often, although starts really fast after this.
- You cannot change used internet connection.

+ Simple.
+ Shows album covers.
- Memory seems to run out if you are browsing and listening to music.

The Duo gets things rolling!

Greetings everybody!

Welcome to our shared technology and mobility blog. Both of us had had the idea of creating some kind of technology related blog for a while. It wasn't until now when we finally got the idea of actually sharing a blog in order to help each other out. We had a short discussion about what we should cover here. First we were thinking to narrow the area quite a bit but then decided to cover things that we see important or interesting ourselves. Most probably they all are somehow related to mobile technologies but there might be some suprises also...

So who are we and what do we do?


I've been working as a software engineer at Digia for the last 5 years now. I'm mainly doing application development for mobile devices and always on the lookout for new methods and technologies that will make the development process easier.

I have used several programming languages and tools on various platforms and think I have a good overview on technologies related to mobile development. Most recently I have been interested in cross-platform development and graphics related programming.


I started in Nordea straight after my first year in Lappeenranta University of Technology on summer 2000. I've been working there since and I'm mostly concentrating on mobile development and different web technologies.

I try to keep in mind both technology and business perspective, because without these both components, it is usually difficult to make a successful product / service. I'm going to write my own ideas / thoughts and not my employer’s. Of course I’m not promising that I wouldn’t tell some Nordea related issues every once in a while. If I do this I’ll try to be as objective as possible.

Hude & Teppo